IPC performs U-turn as Russian and Belarusian athletes banned from Paralympics
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Major General Viktor Gulevich, who also became Chief of the General Staff in March 2021, supposedly penned a letter of resignation to Minsk’s defence minister Viktor Khrenin. A scan of Mr Gulevich’s statement said: “Conducting explanatory work with the commanders of military units did not yield results.
“I have the courage to assume that the replacement of the commanders of these military units, who could not organise the formation of groups on the ground, will not give us the result we need.
“In view of the above, I ask for your decision regarding the acceptance of my resignation.”
Mr Gulevich was one of four senior defence officials to be sanctioned by the UK after Belarus was accused of having “directly contributed to Russia’s ability to attack Ukraine”.
Two military enterprises in Belarus have also been sanctioned by the British Government.
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Gulevich was also accused of directing joint military exercises with Russia and approving the deployment of Vladimir Putin’s troops along Belarus’ border with Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence in Minsk questioned the authenticity of the letter after it was shared by the ex-deputy defence minister of Ukraine Alexander Nosov.
They instead suggested Mr Gulevich would have to ask the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to quit and argued military units were staffed “100 percent”.
When the UK Government sanctioned Mr Gulevich and his colleagues, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We are inflicting economic pain on Putin and those closest to him.
“We will not rest until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is restored.
“The Lukashenko regime actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion and will be made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin.
“There will be nowhere to hide.”
Minsk has faced further sanctions as American Express has suspended operations in both Russia and Belarus.
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The International Paralympics Committee also banned athletes from the two nations from competing at Beijing’s Paralympic Winter Games.
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